Edmonds has several passenger trains a day pass through it. This includes one long distance train each direction (Amtrak Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago), two regional trains each direction (Amtrak Cascades from Seattle and Portland to Vancouver BC), and several commuter trains (SoundTransit Sounder) that operate pretty much only for those going to downtown Seattle for work as those only operate on weekdays during peak travel periods, and in the peak direction of travel for those going into Seattle.
The Sounder platform is located somewhat south of the Amtrak station, but the two essentially share one long platform.
Amtrak actually has a fully staffed station here, though it is only open when there is a chance of an Amtrak train stopping there. Thus, the station is open from 7 am to 12:30 pm, and then open again from 1 pm to 9:45 pm. There is no checked baggage service.
The waiting room is a bit small, but adequate to the task, and there is a single QuickTrak machine for those needing to print their tickets.
The station also has a reasonably nice collection of local and regional railroad memorabilia on display in its display cases.
There are other things for sale here as well, including a collection of books on a rack that are advertised as being on sale significantly below bookstore prices.
SoundTransit passengers are a little less lucky than to have a heated waiting room. As you can see in photo one, these are more along the lines of extremely modernized bus shelters placed in a row along the platform. At the north end of the Sounder platform, and at the south side of the Amtrak station, you will find a wooden structure that houses the Sounder ticket vending machine.
On the north side of the Amtrak station parking lot it is possible to find the local bus transit center, which is primarily served by buses operated by CommunityTransit. Slightly north of that is the walk-on passenger boarding area for the Washington State Ferry service to Kingston.
Relevant Web Sites:
Amtrak station code for Edmonds: EDM
For station information, on the Amtrak web site, select the "Stations" tab and then enter "EDM" in the "Find a station by Code" area towards the bottom of the window.
The Edmonds station shows as having 156 parking places and bike lockers. To get to the station information on the web site you first must select "Sounder Commuter Rail" then "Everett - Seattle" and then the "Stations" tab.
One of the most popular routes to get to the Olympic Peninsula from Seattle and other areas of Puget Sound is by way of the Edmonds - Kingston ferry. This means that the long line for the ferry can sometimes be two hours or so. It is several miles from the ferry terminal to Interstate 5, and yet the line waiting for the ferry can reach all the way to the freeway and then some.
There are not very many walk-on passengers on this ferry route. Edmonds isn't exceptionally easy to get to by public transit, and the Kingston side of things has only very limited public transit options which don't go very many places. This is unfortunate, as even slow transit options would be better for an awful lot of people than a two hour ferry line. However, it isn't set up that way.
Thus, there are limited resources for walk-on passengers here. However, the waiting room at the bottom of the ramp is at least indoors.
From interstate 5 follow the signs for the Kingston ferry. The ferry queue runs along the side of Highway 104. If you are going to cross on foot, then there is no need for that, and you can head to downtown Edmonds and find street-side parking in many locations. Just walk down the hill on Main Street and you will come to the ferry terminal.
Walk-on passengers board using a very long walkway that forms a ramp to the upper deck of the ferry. There is a small waiting room, but once you pass the fare gates there are no restrooms and only a few benches on the walkway ramp.
Just to the south of the Edmonds ferry terminal you will find the Sounder / Amtrak train station, on the east side of the railroad line. Directly east of the railroad line, and south of main street and north of the train station, is the Edmonds transit station, which is served by several bus routes.
ONE IMPORTANT WORD OF CAUTION:!!: There is a railroad crossing across the entrance to the ferry slip. A train can block access to and from the ferry at any time, though the railroad appears to have an area north of the ferry slip where trains seem to tend to wait if they see a ferry in the slip. However, they can not be expected to stop for everything, and so be prepared for the occasional frustrating blockage by train. Also be prepared for the gates to come down, and certainly never put yourself in a place of danger. Amtrak and Sounder go through here somewhat slowly as they stop at the Edmonds station, which is just south of the ferry terminal. However, most freight trains have no need to stop in Edmonds and will go through fairly fast.
Except for longer distances, it really isn't vital that there be bus service in downtown Edmonds. The core of the city is small, and most of it may be covered by walking.
The core of transportation services are located in a few block area where the Amtrak and Ferry Terminal are located. Between the Ferry Terminal and the Amtrak station, there is a small set of bus shelters and this serves as the primary transportation center for the bus services that come into Edmonds.
Currently, all of these services are operated by CommunityTransit (see web site below).
Bus route 416 is a commuter route that only operates one direction in the mornings and one direction in the evenings, only on weekdays. It is an express from downtown Edmonds to downtown Seattle.
Route 130 is also a weekday only bus route, but it operates in both directions and the least frequently it operates is hourly. It is a relatively slow local route, but at least it operates and connects with several important transportation centers: Lynnwood Transit Center (on Interstate 5), Montlake Terrace Transit Center (on Interstate 5), and Aurora Village Transit Center (on highway 99). Lynnwood and Montlake Terrace connect with express SoundTransit bus routes going to Seattle and Everett, and CommunityTransit express service called SWIFT at the Aurora Village Transit Center goes north to Everett as well. There is a King County Metro bus at Aurora Village Transit Center that also goes to downtown Seattle, but it is a very slow local route on highway 99 and not recommended unless you have to take it. It is better to try to get one of the SoundTransit Express buses at Montlake Terrace.
Route 110 doesn't operate very often, but at least it operates in two directions during peak travel periods on weekdays. It goes from downtown Everett to Montlake Terrace in a somewhat more direct route than Route 130, and therefore may be a better option if you are trying to get one of the express buses to Seattle.
Route 116 operates from Edmonds directly east, hitting a few park and ride lots and the Lynnwood Transit Center before going to the Silver Firs community.
Route 196 connects Edmonds to the Alderwood Mall, and operates reasonably late at night. It only operates Monday through Friday. It goes past the local convention center in Lynnwood, but does not directly serve the Lynnwood Transit Center.